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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

Prediction: HOU 27, IND 17 (Line: HOU by 7)

Players to Watch: Arian Foster, Andre Johnson

This game takes an interesting twist. Now it is that the Texans must win this to ensure a first round bye and homefield advantage throughout - pretty important stuff. And yet the Colts are locked into their #5 seed wild card and have nothing to play for. So it is now the Texans hoping to sponge off a meaningless game for the Colts and not vice-versa.

This is a replay of just two weeks ago when the Texans won 29-17 at home.

Houston Texans
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIA 30-10 10 @CHI 13-6
2 @JAC 27-7 11 JAC 43-37
3 @DEN 31-25 12 @DET 34-31
4 TEN 38-14 13 @TEN 24-10
5 @NYJ 23-17 14 @NE 14-42
6 GB 24-42 15 IND 29-17
7 BAL 43-13 16 MIN 6-23
8 BYE ----- 17 @IND -----
9 BUF 21-9 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass

Pregame Notes: The Texans have really stumbled here at the end with a 1-2 record these last three weeks and their losses were not just overtime lose-by-a-field-goal variety. They were trounced and embarrassed by the Patriots and then beaten shockingly well by the visiting Vikings. At least the one win was against the Colts and everything is on the line this week because no one wants to travel to Denver for the Championship game.

Arian Foster was pulled from the game last week right when fantasy owners needed him the most. He ended with only 29 total yards and had an irregular heartbeat that prompted them to shut him down. He has since been to a cardiologist and gotten the thumbs-up and will play. With a week to rest, this will be a full effort from him and shortened only in the event the Texans got a large and seemingly insurmountable lead. Foster ran for a season high 165 yards on 27 carries in Indy.

Owen Daniels has not practice on Thursday to rest his hamstring but so far is expected to play this week. He only caught four passes for 40 yards in the last meeting.

Matt Schaub threw for 261 yards and one score against the Colts and 151 of those yards - and the touchdown - all went to Andre Johnson on his 11 catches. Johnson has been on a hot streak for the last six weeks and will again need to show up to secure this game. He remains the only wide receiver of any fantasy relevance on this team all year.

Foster should be a lock here for a big game since they will rely on him first and mix in as much passing as needed to win the game. Johnson is a must-start regardless and along with Foster are the only two really attractive starts this week. Had the Texans won just one more game this year, there would be no fantasy players from the Texans.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 19 1 28 3 5 5
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 14 27 26 6 23 23

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB T.J. Yates, HOU PIT 0000022011 ***
The Steelers get CB Joe Haden back this week in all likelihood, which helps improve a secondary that has fallen on hard times of late. This is the No. 6 matchup to exploit for the week, yet rolling with Yates in a fantasy lineup is begging for a second-place finish.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, HOU PIT 5002200000 ***
Pittsburgh offers one of the better matchups of the week in both scoring formats, and it's an excellent rating for trying to find a cheap touchdown. One in 16.7 carries over the past five games have scored, plus RBs added an aerial TD to the mix. Houston will likely want to run it to keep the game as close as possible. Nevertheless, counting on Miller for more than flex numbers could get games in trouble. He has two scores in his last 93 touches.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU PIT 005801000 ***
Hopkins saw 13 targets last week, landing only four, but he salvaged a respectable fantasy line. The Steelers have permitted seven receiver touchdowns in the last five games, or once every 8.0 receptions (4th). This is the 17th-best matchup for weekly receptions and yards.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Will Fuller V, HOU PIT 003400000 ***
Fuller hasn't offered much since Deshaun Watson went down. This matchup is good for the flier touchdown gamble, but there is little else to like about it.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Braxton Miller, HOU PIT 002300000 ***
Update: Miller is not on the injury report and should play. Avoid him in all formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Stephen Anderson, HOU PIT 002200000 ***
Anderson has caught a pathetic eight of his last 24 targets and offers no credible reason to enter a fantasy lineup. The Steelers haven't given up a TE score over the last 27 catches.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ka'imi Fairbairn, HOU PIT 2211 ***
This matchup is great for extra points (3rd) and not so much for field goals (23rd). Houston isn't particularly good at racking up either.

Indianapolis Colts
Homefield: Lucas Oil Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CHI 21-41 10 @JAC 27-10
2 MIN 23-20 11 @NE 24-59
3 JAC 17-22 12 BUF 20-13
4 BYE ----- 13 @DET 35-33
5 GB 30-27 14 TEN 27-23
6 @NYJ 9-35 15 @HOU 17-29
7 CLE 17-13 16 @KC 20-13
8 @TEN 19-13 17 HOU -----
9 MIA 23-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
IND vs HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Andrew Luck 20 280,2
RB Frank Gore 60 1-10
WR T.Y. Hilton 4-60
PK Adam Vinatieri 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: HC Chuck Pagano said he will not rest players in Sunday's game against the Texans and he may believe that. But unless the game remains very close, the players may see the sideline eventually anyway which makes relying on any of them at least a small risk. These Colts are new at heading to the playoffs and could use the time to stay sharp.

Andrew Luck already scored twice in Houston though he completed just 13 of 27 passes for 186 yards and was sacked five times. J. J. Watts needs just two sacks to tie the single-season record and three to break it which seems highly likely in this game. Luck has been sacked 18 times over the last five games and now stands in the way of a record. And he wants to play in a meaningless game.

Vick Ballard ran for a career best 105 yards on 18 carries in Houston and the Colts are no longer shy about feeding him 18+ carries a game. That could be impacted by a big Texans lead or just the reality that Ballard needs to be healthy for next week too and taking a pounding for nothing may not be the wisest plan.

Reggie Wayne specifically made an appeal to not be rested this week and to play the game despite only coming up with 14 yards on three catches in the previous matchup. T.Y. Hilton was the lead receiver that week with 78 yards on three catches and one score.

Relying on any Colt this week is risky. The Texans have a great rushing defense and while they have played much worse against the pass overall in the second half of the year, they are getting all their defenders back from injury and they have to win this game. The Colts have good intentions on starting players but how long they play could become the issue.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 10 29 4 19 17 26
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 20 1 24 28 7 4

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Jacoby Brissett, IND @BAL 10000018002 ***
Brissett is not a viable fantasy option in any setup and faces a lethal defense to boot.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, IND @BAL 6002100000 ***
Gore has scored once over his past 82 offensive touches, and he isn't much of a threat for aerial contributions. Since Week 10, Baltimore has granted a rushing TD at the second-easiest rate, and this is the best place for an offensive touchdown (one every 15.9 touches). It's also the seventh-worst matchup for offensive touchdowns.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marlon Mack, IND @BAL 2002200000 ***
Mack has been non-existent for fantasy owners over the past five weeks, and unless he scores a touchdown, his contributions will remain insignificant. Tempting fate to find out if he can take advantage of this fruitful matchup is unwise. Baltimore has, for the record, the softest defense when it comes to allowing running backs to score offensive touchdowns.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND @BAL 004500000 ***
Baltimore is a great matchup for receptions (5th most) and yardage (3rd) but ranks as the toughest defense for permitting touchdowns to receivers. Precisely zero have gone into the end zone on the last 71 tries.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chester Rogers, IND @BAL 003300000 ***
The Ravens have not given up a touchdown in the past five games, or 73 receptions worth of action. There is no reason to consider Rogers in any conventional league.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jack Doyle, IND @BAL 003300000 ***
The Ravens have surrendered the third-highest average number of receptions to tight ends without giving up a touchdown in the past five games. Doyle should be in the mix for yardage and catches for PPR gamers.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND @BAL 1000 *****
The position has missed one of their nine field goal tries and one of the eight PATs provided to them. This combines to create the ninth-fewest kicking chances per game in the last five weeks.

WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

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